Government unveils proposed marijuana legislation

Canada Is Legalizing Marijuana But Imposing Tough Penalties For Offenders Of New Laws

The federal Liberal government has finally launched its long-awaited effort to legalize recreational marijuana, setting in motion a host of sweeping policy changes for public safety and health across Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government unveiled legislation Thursday to fully legalize marijuana, making Canada only the second country to do so, after Uruguay. Horizons ETF Management inaugurated the Horizons Medical Marijuana Life Sciences (TSX:HMMJ) on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with 14 marijuana stocks included in the fund, at least for now.

Ottawa is leaving it up to the provincial and territorial governments to prescribe rules for retail environments, including whether marijuana can be sold alongside alcohol, as well as to properly regulate and distribute the drug.

Canada will become the first large industrialized nation with a broad system permitting recreational as well as medical use of marijuana.

A February 2017 poll from NRG Research Group found that 57 percent of B.C. adults support marijuana legalization.

"The bills we propose today are aiming at putting drug dealers and organized crime out of the cannabis business", Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said.

Canada officially moved to legalize recreational marijuana on Thursday when the government introduced legislation allowing the possession of small amounts of cannabis. Trudeau's government ensured that selling cannabis to a minor would be a criminal offense and that there would be a "zero-tolerance approach" to drug impaired driving.

Late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel had a bit of fun Thursday night with the news that the Canadian government has introduced legislation to legalize recreational marijuana. Police will be given authority to administer a saliva test for cannabis if a driver shows signs of use, including the smell or cannabis or reddened eyes. Adults would be allowed to produce legal cannabis products such as food or drinks, for personal use at home.

Despite introduction of the legislation, there remains a lot to be done before the legal regime comes into place.

"This must be an orderly transition and not a free-for-all". "This will not be a free-for-all".

However, strict guidelines will be set on how marijuana can be marketed, as the government is now deciding whether producers should be required to use plain packaging, with endorsements banned and child-proof packaging required.

Advertising requirements in the bill are not as strict as expected, said Eileen McMahon, chair of intellectual property and food and drug regulatory practices at Torys law firm.

But the federal task force recommended marijuana not be sold with alcohol.

Goodale said that Canadian officials have been in close touch with the US government on the proposed law, and emphasized that exporting and importing marijuana will continue to be illegal.

The proposed Cannabis Act "prohibits any promotion, packaging and labelling of cannabis that could be appealing to young persons or encourages its consumption, while allowing consumers to have access to information with which they can make informed decisions about the consumption of cannabis".

"Criminal prohibition has failed to protect our kids and our communities", Blair said, according to the New York Times.

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